Buy, Borrow, Bypass: Books to Read to Recharge for the Resistance

Eleven months into 45’s presidency, with nearly every day bringing more things to be angry about (hello, heartbeat bill, tax reform bill, continued assaults on women’s health, healthcare, and CHIP still not renewed, to name a few), it’s easy to start breaking down at the edges. People are not made to be in constant crisis, a constant state of high-alert being. Cortisol, a hormone produced when under stress, eventually wears down the immune system and impairs health if it remains unchecked—which is why it’s so important to take care of yourself and recharge.

Here are some picks for reading that will help you recharge, so you can continue to #resist. With the exception of one, they are comics—which I didn’t set out to do. But for me, I’ve found that comics and graphic novels are in a unique position with the Resistance—the good vs evil stories; the possibility of superheroes saving the day, and marginalized “underdogs” as the main characters.

NASTY WOMEN: FEMINISM, RESISTANCE, AND REVOLUTION IN TRUMP’S AMERICA edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding

Now more than ever, we as women need to keep talking, keep sharing stories, keep forging alliances. This is a heart-wrenching and inspiring collection of essays by writers like Rebecca Solnit, Samantha Irby, Randa Jarar, Sarah Hepola, Cheryl Strayed, and more. This book will make you cry, anger you, make you want to scream, and remind you why it’s so important to keep #resisting.

Verdict: Buy. And then buy some for people on your holiday lists.

Spider-Woman: Shifting Gears Vol 1: Baby Talk by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez

There are so many strong female superheroes now, and reading their comics is a great way to recharge your soul. It’s always a treat to get a kickass woman superhero—but a pregnant superhero? How awesome is that? This is so well-written, and as this volume and the others unfold, we see how Jessica Drew balances (and doesn’t) being a superhero, mom, friend, and woman. As a fellow single-mom-by-choice, I really appreciated how they handled this storyline, and I’d love to see more female superheroes have their own arcs that address balancing superhero life and motherhood.

Verdict: Buy. And then buy volumes 2 and 3, as well.

ms marvel no normal kamala khan

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Wilson’s iteration of Ms. Marvel is the superhero we need right now: female, Muslim, and kickass. Kamala Khan, a girl from Jersey City, suddenly finds herself equipped with some…special abilities. She fights evil, deals with her traditional family while trying to hide her sudden superhero self, and tries to be a regular teenager. Though this originally came out in 2014, it remains incredibly relevant.

Verdict: Buy, of course. Then read the rest of them, too!

Bitch Planet Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro

DeConnick is one of my favorite writers, and Bitch Planet was my introduction to her. Set in a future where women who fail to comply with patriarchal dictators are deemed “noncompliant” and exiled to a penal planet called Bitch Planet, this is a brilliantly feminist comic that turns the female prison trope on its head. The collected volume trades don’t have the end matter that individual issues do, which include essays, letters to the artists, and fan photos—so if you love the trades, make sure to pick up the individual issues, too.

Verdict: Buy, buy, buy.

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